Reflection on the Tucson Shooting

Friday, 21 January, 2011 - 11:13 am

The shooting in Tucson two weeks ago has evoked a plethora of reactions from a broad spectrum of our society. I do not intend my comments to be at all associated with any of the politicized takes on this issue (which is why I waited an extra week to share my thoughts).

Obviously, the first and most important reaction must be one of prayer and hope for the full recovery of Congresswoman Giffords and the other wounded, as well sorrow and pain for those whose lives were taken.

As we contemplete the matter further, we wonder what brings about such a horrific mindset on the part of the perpetrator. This same question was asked regarding many previous tragedies that are similar in nature, such as the Columbine massacre, the VA Tech shooting and so forth.

This past Sunday we watched a video of a talk the Rebbe gave in 1975, addressing American political leadership, many of whom had come to congratulate him upon his 25 years of leadership of Chabad. Among the many points he made, the Rebbe spoke of the need for the US to retain the moral fiber upon which it was founded. America was established by men of faith - the Founding Fathers, who stressed the belief in a creator as the source for the rights given to man. He stressed the importance of teaching these principles to our children as part of the educational responsibility we have as a nation. He argued for the constitutionality of G-d in Public Schools as long as it is not a specific mode of worship and religion. The Rebbe's concludes that without this important foundation the entire structure crumbles.

This brought to mind a similar talk the Rebbe gave in 1981 shortly after the assasination attempt on Preseident Ronald Reagan. He spoke about the importance of moral clarity in the US society and educational system. He pointed out that moral ambiguity in schools, who see themselves merely as transmitters of information rather than sharing the responsibility of shaping the child's inner self and moral outlook, can play a role in the degeneration of society to the point where an assasination attempt is possible. He goes on to make some of the same points as in the 1975 address.

If you would like to see the complete 22 minute talk go to . To see a transcript .  

Ethics of Our Fathers talks of the three things that a person must always know, "there is an Eye that sees, an Ear that hears, and all of one's deeds are recorded in a Book." If a person believes that the only thing wrong with committing a crime is getting caught, then society disintigrates. However, if a person is taught from childhood on, that G-d dictates right and wrong, and He sees and hears everything, then there is a better chance that the person will not resort to immoral activities.

In contrast to the above, I would like to congratulate my 11 year old nephew, Mendel Rivkin, upon reaching the halfway point in his study of the entire Mishna. The Mishna is comprised of over 60 volumes (tractates) which are divided into six orders. Mendel is celebrating a Siuym (completion) of the 3rd (of six) Orders of the Mishna. This my friends is the real antidote to Tucson, Columbine, Va Tech, Oklahoma City etc. May his entire family dervice much Nachas from him and may Hashem bless him to continue growing in Torah study and moral development.

We wish Dina & David Voskovsky a Mazel Tov upon the birth of their daughter (nameless until Shabbat). Warm wishes for Hashem's abundant blessings for Nachas, health and prosperity. Special Mazel Tov to the grandparents Shmuel & Susan Markovich.

Best wishes for a renewed start to Ilan & Sarah Fuchs in their new home. May our sages promise of "prosperity following a fire" be realized in your lives very soon. 

Comments on: Reflection on the Tucson Shooting

Melody wrote...

Excellent !!!!